Different Attitude To Serious And Learning Games
HolIgor: I am not a pro and I will never be a pro. Thus every game is for fun.
When I first came to the club they organized a tournament for beginners. I wanted to win it. Gosh, in the decisive game I did an incredible thing. I've never done it again. In yose I had to decide if I want a ko on the first line. Something like this.
Connect? Or cut? Risky. So, I've counted the score. I mean, literally, counted it point by point taking into account remaining yose moves. I turned out that I was 5 points ahead if I connect. So I did not cut and won by 5 points only.
Never again did I count the score, which is not good, of course. Sometimes I tell myself that I have to count, but it is not easy. I think that if I counted the score my yose would improve significantly.
I played in the regular tournaments later. Well, 5d dans have this bad habit to take better places anyway.
I've beaten 3d in an even game only once. He did not take me seriously perhaps. Perhaps it happened because of my poor tsume-go. Instead of building eyes in the corner I cut. Gosh, I read out that semiai, I tell you. I won by one move despite the proverb. So, it was 13 point victory instead of 40 point loss.
I have to say that even with 5d guys I play to win. They play better, but I did not play to lose by honorable margin.
DaveSigaty: I think (hope) my attitude is similar to HolIgor - I play no 'serious' games in any external sense (organized tournament or whatever) therefore every game must be for fun. This is not automatically true, I have to work at it. For example, I have an account on IGS (if you use 'find', there I am :-) that I started 6 years ago. Using this account I was 2d* in 1996-1997 but playing infrequently. Since the pros came to IGS starting in late 1998 and 1999 I am no longer a 2d*. But I took my rank 'seriously' and stopped playing instead of losing my 2d! Nonsense yes, but perhaps quite human. So last year I started to play anonymously with a new ID (you can't identify me through the e-mail address). Now I play with 'looking' set on and I accept any match request that fits my minimum time requirements. With this ID I am 1k* (not quite 1d* :-) through 150+ games. I play no 'serious' games rather every one is a learning opportunity. This strongly affects what choices I make.
DieterVerhofstadt: As pointed out very righteously by HolIgor, if you are not pro then your games can hardly be called serious. As DaveSigaty noticed so recognizably, every amateur is proud of the rank achieved and keen to maintain it. Even so, amateurs should probably keep convincing themselves of playing to learn and for fun and not to stress needlessly about "high staked games".
StefanVerstraeten: I would have thought that a fair number of pros keep playing their official games to learn. Since their "high stakes" games are probably the ones they put most effort in, they're their best chance to keep improving, no? Isn't Yi Ch'ang-ho for example experimenting often with new moves in his tournament games? Or has he researched them all up front? (in which case I wonder when the man ever sleeps!)
swooboo: I actually disagree with the "fun attitude" to all games. I think that is what Kageyama Toshiro warns us about in Lessons In The Fundamentals Of Go, I quote:
"You are at a barrier when your strength ceases to rise and you find yourself playing for fun, as an exchange of ideas — any opponent will do."
Kageyama actually writes this about a barrier that one needs to overcome, and I think that if you only experiment in your games with the things you have learned, you will not improve, since there will be not much new things. And even if you do play moves that are new to you, you will lack the fighting spirit, without which, I think it is hard to study. Indeed, taking a game too seriously is not that good also, so we need to find ballance between serious and fun as we find the right ballance between territory and influence.